Friday, January 15, 2010

"The Best Yet: Live in Nashville" Review: DVD offers solid Switchfoot concert retrospective

Just like the Sony-released album of the same name, "The Best Yet Live" DVD gives listeners/viewers an ample look into the past few years of Switchfoot music. "The Best Yet Live" is a well-produced video collection compiled during the band's Nashville stop during the co-headlined Music Builds Tour back in 2008. The tracklisting is safe and casual-fan-friendly, featuring four hits from the 2003 double-platinum "The Beautiful Letdown" -- something to be expected, considering how little an amount oftime the band had to squeeze these tunes into (a little over an hour).

The DVD is solid; the audio mixing is significantly improved over the previous, under-produced "Live at the Ventura Theatre." There is actually a strong bass presence in the overall mix, the sound is more consistent and is more pleasing to the ear overall. The video editing is highly improved as well, with black-and-white effects and slow-motion sequences, lending a music-video styled, professional-feeling sheen over top of the whole film.

The quality isn't perfect however, by any means. There were some very obviously pixelated boom camera/aerial shots of the stage and band; one will notice it immediately. Whether intentional or just the sad result of a low-quality camera, the end result is a very distracting and frustrating viewing experience at times.

There was also an example of a possible glitch (the same kind that plagued "Ventura"), when after "This Is Home," a strange sliding effect that sounded like the beginning "riff" of "Clumsy" by Fergie emerged in the mix. I'm pretty sure that wasn't in the original concert audio… whoops.

Another unfortunate editing problem, albeit unfix-able, can be found in "Gone." The Beyonce intro and interludes were edited out, probably due to copyright issues, leaving a rather awkward-sounding "whatever" where "this could be Rihanna's umbrella, ella, ella, whateva" should've been.

But problems aside, how could one forget "Dirty Second Hands." Arguably one of Switchfoot's most intense performances on this DVD, the cymbal bashing interlude, captured on DVD for the first time, is pure gold.

With the big Music Builds set up, including giant LCD screens and strobe lights galore, this DVD is the most visually appealing from Switchfoot yet. Lame, lifeless crowd aside, this DVD was worth every penny.


You can purchase your copy on Switchfoot online store.

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